One of the most important lessons I’ve learned began shortly after my son was born: Let go of expectations. Let go and let him sleep in his own room; let go and let him cross the street to play; let go and let him walk to school; let go and let him choose his clothes, his career, his own path. It’s a life long process and I still have times I have to remind myself, hey, this is not about me, is it?
It’s easy to worry, feel disappointed, be irritated or get annoyed by someone’s actions or choices because they aren’t what we expect or want or what we think we know is right. How easy it is to see others and operate more from our own agenda rather than what is needed or important or best for the other person. And sometimes, when we do get what we want, we discover it wasn’t the best of all possibilities after all.
Whether it’s the actions we expect coworkers to take, the recognition we believe we deserve, or where we want our children to live, we can save a tremendous amount of energy (and stress!) when we accept that people will not always do what we want them to do. This doesn’t mean losing control; rather, it’s acknowledging that we’re not in control and don’t need to be for things to turn out okay.
Lesson learned: Appreciate the unpredictable nature of life. Let go of expectations and view the world around you from a new and more spontaneous perspective. Be more flexible and ready to adapt and respond to whatever may come our way with more intelligence, more creativity and more balance.
Expect only the unexpected!